Book number 15: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I read this some time during the first week of April but since I joined the 30 Days of Blogging Honesty and One Dare gig, I’m only posting my book review now. Actually, I stopped reading books altogether for April to give way for the month-long blog event!
What it is: The Happiness Project is about the author’s quest to be happy without doing any major alterations in life. It is about “finding happiness in my own kitchen“. The book is focused on an aspect of life to be improved happiness wise every month for a year like work, energy, passion, and attitude. The Happiness Project falls on the memoir and self help categories but it can pass for research too actually. It reminded of Tuesdays with Morrie because of the chapter segmentation and Eat, Pray, Love because of the doing-something-for-a-year format (called stunt journalism) and the voice of the author.
What I liked about it: The subjects chosen per chapter were really cool. My favorite part is February that focused on marriage. I think it is not just about marriage but relationships in general. The most striking part I found was how we sometimes tend to be nicer to other people than to the love of our lives, which is totally unfair, but we do it anyway! I relate to the personality of the author too because like her, I aim high too and I want to enjoy more without undermining how fortunate I am already. The realizations on happiness were fantastic! They are not groundbreaking, but it is always nice to be reminded of what matters. Things like:
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.
What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you – and vice versa.
One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
You can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do.
I also appreciate the tips sections at the back of the book. These are really helpful like tips on how to stick with your exercise, how to boost energy in 10 minutes, how to buy happiness, and how to keep resolutions.
What I did not like about it: I was definitely surprised when I realized The Happiness Project discussed the subject of happiness in a very mechanical, almost OCD way. When I started on the first pages, I was afraid I won’t finish it because to me it felt weird, reading about happiness in a highly logical, almost research kind of way; isn’t happiness such a robust emotion to be treated in a very academic manner? However, as I go along, I find that the book grew on me so it did not matter entirely.
Recommended for: If you are brooding, anxious, stressed, or simply wishing to improve the abundance of happiness in your life, read The Happiness Project and maybe get inspired to come up with your own (tools here) too. My Man got me this book and he gave a copy to Mother Goose as well. I wonder what does that say about us? 😆
On the photo: My Man browsing through The Happiness Project on our beach trip.